Improve Conversion for Fundraising Letters: How to Land Recurring Donations

Improve Conversion for Fundraising Letters: How to Land Recurring Donations

Experiencing low conversion rates on fundraising letters? Here's a proven way to improve the results of your charity's direct mail marketing.

You can read this blog post in Swedish

Are you putting all your efforts into acquiring new subscribers or charity donors via fundraising physical letters and seeing close to zero results? We know how daunting and discouraging it can feel. This is why we've come to help and show you how you can digitalise your physical letters and increase conversion as well as donor lifetime value. 


How charities reach out to their target audience

Although fundraising has been digitalised over the last few years with non-profits making great use of social media platforms and online fundraising tools, many charitable institutions and fundraising organisations still rely on traditional outreach methods, especially when targeting older segments of society. For example, telemarketing communications are still very relevant and successful when it comes to charity donations. 

Yet, numerous charities and non-profits depend on direct mail marketing. The KPM Group reports that thanks to direct mail marketing charities can provoke emotions.  However, even if letter receivers feel moved by what's inside, you may see very low conversion rates from your direct mail initiatives. Mail Shark found that the average return on investment of direct mail is as little as 0.5-2%, meaning a maximum of two people will convert for every 100. There are a few different reasons for it, and no - it's not your fault. 


Why do physical fundraising letters have low conversion rates?

Let’s state the obvious - we’re all very busy. How often do you pay attention to the promotional leaflets and letters left in your mailbox? Often we chuck all the flyers directly into a recycling bin and never look back. That is quite unfortunate, especially when you think about the money spent on preparing and printing the brochures. And let’s not forget about the trees! 

Of course, there will be a percentage of your target audience that will go through your fundraising letter and read it very carefully. They may even put the letter aside with the intention of donating to your charity later on. However, this is where their commitment often drops, due to the following reasons:

  • Lack of time: Many of us are in a constant hurry, trying to juggle too many things at the same time. Something as simple as visiting a bank, or opening your banking app to make a transfer may be just the one activity we choose to omit, day by day. 
  • Lack of payment methods: Your fundraising letter might make it to the door of many young people genuinely interested in donating. However, when it comes to Gen Z and Millennials, bank transfers are not their preferred payment method. Due to the lack of convenient ways of donating, many potential donors may choose not to donate.
  • No nearby bank branches: The COVID-19 outbreak forced us to digitalise different aspects of our lives. Many banks have decided to shut their branches, moving fully to online banking or reducing their opening hours. While online banking works well with younger demographics, it often leaves older segments discouraged, as they can't proceed with online bank transfers on their own and can't visit a bank. 


How to improve donor’s lifetime value and retention rates with fundraising letters

As we've just covered in the previous section, fundraising letters often deliver low conversion rates. Poor LTV and low conversion rates go side by side. Fewer bank branches, as well as a lack of time and payment methods, don’t motivate your donors to repeat the payment process monthly. 

The donor’s lifetime value is the average calculation of how much the donor will give to your charity, starting with the first donation, all the way until they stop giving. 

As you can imagine, donor lifetime value is directly affected by the retention rate. If the majority of donors acquired through direct mail marketing are one-off donors, their LTV will be low. This is a great reason to introduce recurring payment methods into your fundraising letters


How to offer recurring payment methods with fundraising letters

If your fundraising letters target younger demographics, offering digital payment methods is a no-brainer (but let's not forget that some older demographics are also tech-savvy and up for digital payments). But apart from inviting your audience to donate to your good cause via bank transfers, add QR codes to your fundraising letters and allow donors to support your charity through online payments. 

All you have to do is add a QR code to your fundraising letters and explain to your audience that by scanning the code they can donate to your charity. Here's an example of what a fundraising letter with a QR code looks like.

sales letter qr code example (1)

After scanning the code, the potential donor will be redirected to an online checkout where they can proceed with a one-off contribution or sign up for monthly donations. In order to do that, the user should choose direct debit as their preferred payment method (for example, Digital Autogiro for Sweden or AvtaleGiro for Norway) and confirm the mandate by signing into their BankID. 

But what's the best thing about adding QR codes to your fundraising letters? They can be personalised! This means that the receiver of the letter will be redirected to an online checkout pre-filled with their personal information available in your sales or CRM system. This significantly improves customer experience and speeds up the donation process, having a great impact on conversion rates. 

We’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with a post distribution provider and together we help businesses and organisations in digitalising paper letters and invoices by adding personalised QR codes. Find out more about it!


Digitalise fundraising letters with QR codes

If you’d like to improve conversion and retention rates for your fundraising strategy, it may be worth giving a try to QR codes. Remember that technology is constantly changing, bringing new solutions to old problems! With Waytobill you can increase conversion and retention rates, and improve average donor lifetime value.

Would you like to find out more about our new solution? Reach out to us and we’ll provide you with all the information on how to improve results for your direct mail marketing. 

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